£600,000 cycle route opens

A newly-completed £600,000 three-mile section of the Cole Valley walking and cycling route officially opened today (May 1).

The new stretch runs through the Kingfisher Country Park between Stechford and the city boundary at Kingshurst – opening up another huge section of the beautiful Cole Valley green open space, and is completely traffic free so ideal for beginner cyclists.

It passes close to Stechford, Buckland End, Shard End and Kitts Green, and provides links to local schools, shops and workplaces, encouraging far more people to get out and about and enjoy their local area.

The £600,000 project, which has taken six months to build, has been jointly funded by Birmingham City Council and Sustrans.

Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, and John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities, joined pupils from Colebourne Primary School and the International School to open the newly-completed section, during a ceremony.

Cllr Ward said: “We've just approved the submission of a bid to government for £17million to create a Birmingham Cycle Revolution over the next 20 years - this project clearly highlights our desire to improve things so that bikes are seen as a viable mode of transport for people of all ages and abilities.

“The Cole Valley walking and cycling route is a key part of our existing network and this upgrade will enable people to get even more enjoyment out of cycling in Birmingham.”

In order to maximise the enjoyment of the new route, the council has produced a small pocket-size map of the walking and cycling route which will be delivered to 9,060 homes within the vicinity of the route to make the local community aware of it, to encourage people to get out on their bikes more.

It is planned to continue the route from Stechford to the Grand Union Canal over the next two years, which will complete the off road route to the city centre.

Cllr Ward added: “Walking and cycling are free and fun ways to stay fit, and we hope to deliver many more similar upgrades in the coming years if our bid for government funding is successful.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Sustrans is a charity that works with communities, policy-makers and partner organisations so that people can choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys and enjoy better, safer spaces to live in. For more information visit www.sustrans.org.uk

A hi-res pic for media use, from today’s launch can be found on the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.

For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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